A Brazilian-born researcher who runs minority health programs at a public university in Alabama has convinced the U.S. government to give her $1.5 million to help women quit smoking in her native country.
A noble cause indeed, but likely not on the high list of the American taxpayers funding the project. Nevertheless, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, has given the Brazilian researcher, Isabel Scarinci, a five-year, $1.5 million grant to fund her international tobacco-control project.
The goal is to better understand “women and their tobacco-related issues” in the South American country, especially in Scarinci’s Brazilian hometown of Parana. In the last two years alone, the researcher has received north of $560,000 for the initiative, according to NIH records for fiscal years 2012 and 2013.
Here is what Uncle Sam’s generosity is getting us, according to the NIH: “An understanding of women and their tobacco-related issues” as well as the “development of gender-relevant tobacco control efforts.” Wait, there’s more information from the NIH to justify the grant, though it’s unlikely to keep Americans up at night: A “smoking epidemic is rapidly spreading to women in developing countries.”